Ferguson thanks medics for life-saving surgery

first_img0Shares0000Recovery: Alex Ferguson thanks medicsLONDON, United Kingdom, July 27 – Former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson thanked medics for saving his life and said he felt humbled by the huge outpouring of sympathy in his first public comments since undergoing emergency surgery for a brain haemorrhage in May.The 76-year-old Scot, who won 38 trophies in 26 years in charge at United, praised medical staff in a video message released by the club. Ferguson, who guided United to 13 Premier League titles and two Champions League trophies, remained in intensive care for several days following the emergency surgery.“Hello. Just a quick message, first of all to thank the medical staff at Macclesfield, Salford Royal and Alexandra hospitals,” said a healthy-looking Ferguson, whose speech appeared to have been affected a little.“Believe me, without those people, who gave me such great care, I would not be sitting here today. So thank you from me and my family, thank you very much.”Ferguson, who stepped down after winning his 13th Premier League title in 2013, said both the care he received and the global reaction to his predicament had touched him deeply.“It’s made me feel so humble, as have all the messages I’ve received from all over the world, wishing me the best,” he said.“And the good wishes do resonate very, very strongly with me. So thank you for that support you’ve given me.”Ferguson ended the message by saying he would be back at Old Trafford to watch United, now managed by Jose Mourinho.“Lastly, I’ll be back later in the season to watch the team,” said Ferguson. “In the meantime, all the best to Jose and the players. Thank you very much.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

New study proves the brain has three layers of working memory

first_imgShareCONTACT: Jessica StarkPHOTO: 713-348-6777EMAIL: stark@rice.eduNew study proves the brain has three layers of working memoryPredictability can improve multitaskingResearchers from Rice University and Georgia Institute of Technology have found support for the theory that the brain has three concentric layers of working memory where it stores readily available items. Memory researchers have long debated whether there are two or three layers and what the capacity and function of each layer is.In a paper in the March issue of the Journal of Cognitive Psychology, researchers found that short-term memory is made up of three areas: a core focusing on one active item, a surrounding area holding at least three more active items, and a wider region containing passive items that have been tagged for later retrieval or “put on the back burner.” But more importantly, they found that the core region, called the focus of attention, has three roles — not two as proposed by previous researchers. First, this core focus directs attention to the correct item, which is affected by predictability of input pattern. Then it retrieves the item and subsequently, when needed, updates it.The researchers, Chandramallika Basak of Rice University and Paul Verhaeghen of Georgia Tech, used simple memory tasks involving colors and shapes on a computer screen to determine the three distinct layers of memory. They also determined the roles of attention focus by exploring the process of switching items in and out of the focus of attention. In their previous studies, Basak and Verhaeghen discovered that response time for switching in and out of the core focus is not affected by the number of items stored when the items are input in a predictable pattern. In this study of 49 participants across two experiments, the researchers found that when no pattern exists, all participants increased their response time by an average of 240 milliseconds per item as more items are stored. This implies that the area outside the focus has to be searched when there is no pattern, even before the item can be retrieved.However, as evidenced by the previous studies, when participants were given 10 hours of practice in a memory task with a predictable pattern, all of them could enhance the focus of attention to store four items in the focus core. But this focus does not expand when the memory task has no pattern. “Predictability can free up resources so a person can effectively multitask,” said Basak, assistant professor of psychology at Rice and lead author of the study. “When you do the same sequence over and over again, your memory can be partially automatized so you have the ability to do another task concurrently.”This comes naturally, Basak said. For instance, as you drive the usual route to your regular grocery store, you might also be thinking about what to fix for dinner and making a grocery list. That same secondary task — the grocery list — becomes more of a challenge when driving to a different grocery store using an unfamiliar route.Another facet of the study showed that the third level of memory — the region containing passive items — is not only separate from the other two areas of active storage but has a firewall between them. The number of passive items does not influence either response time or accuracy for recalling active items. To interview Basak or receive a copy of the study, “Three Layers of Working Memory: Focus-switch Costs and Retrieval Dynamics as Revealed by the N-count Task,” for news purposes, contact Jessica Stark, assistant director of media relations, at stark@rice.edu or 713-348-6777. AddThislast_img read more